Juventus
    Juventus
      09.12.2016 14:00 - in: Serie A S

      Three key Derby Della Mole duels

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      With every blade of grass set to be fought for this Sunday, Juventus.com looks at three key match-ups across the pitch in the upcoming Derby Della Mole
      Hart vs Buffon

      Undoubtedly one of the most intriguing transfers of the summer window, Joe Hart has settled into life in Serie A, where he has made 13 appearances out of a possible 15 so far.

      Known for his shot stopping prowess, the England international keeper has made some stunning saves in Torino colours, not least against Roma and Fiorentina forwards Edin Dzeko and Nikola Kalinic respectively.

      Hart sits joint-seventh in the Serie A standings for his percentage of shots saved – a respectable 73%.

      After over 20 years at the top of the game, Gianluigi Buffon needs no introduction.

      The last time Gigi played away to Torino in March this year, he broke the Serie A record for minutes (973) without conceding a goal, and, needless to say, our Numero Uno is as reliable as ever between the Bianconeri sticks this season too.

      The 38-year-old has kept seven clean sheets in all competitions this term, three miraculous saves away to Lyon confirming his almost superhuman status.

      Belotti vs Mandzukic

      Ten goals from his first 13 games of 2016/17 mean that Andrea Belotti sits third in the Serie A scoring charts this season.

      Belotti it was who ended Buffon’s aforementioned streak without conceding last time out and the Bianconeri backline will have to be on their toes again on Sunday to keep the physically strong, deadly finisher under tabs.

      Watch out for set pieces too given the 22-year-old’s proven aerial ability after netting three times from headers this term.

      In Mario Mandzukic, Juventus also boast a forward with the sort of ‘never say die’ attitude that has come to characterise Belotti’s game.

      Five goals and an assist in all competitions only tell half the story of the Croatian international’s superlative last six weeks, during which his tireless running and tidy link-up play have given the Bianconeri the attacking edge in many a match of late.

      Then, playing alongside Mandzukic in recent weeks, there’s Juve’s top scorer this season, Gonzalo Higuain, who notched his 10th goal in all competitions in midweek against Dinamo Zagreb.

      Having featured for 15 minutes or so on Wednesday night, there may well be a first Serie A appearance in almost two months for Paulo Dybala and we all know what La Joya is capable of!

      Barreca vs Alex Sandro

      Having returned from a loan spell at Cagliari in the summer, Antonio Barreca has made Torino’s left-back slot very much his own as one of eight players to have featured for over 900 minutes this season.

      More than capable of getting forwards, as his eight shots, 35 crosses and an assist in the last home game against Chievo all testify, it’s the Torino academy product's defensive qualities that especially stand out, not least the 80 per cent of tackles won.

      Strong going backwards, strong going forwards is also the story of Juventus wing-back Alex Sandro’s season so far.

      Following an impressive debut campaign in the black and white, the Brazilian has taken his game to another level again and currently boasts the best statistics among all Bianconeri players in the following categories: passes completed (754), passes in the opposition half (409), crosses (75), dribbles (33), tackles (35) and interceptions (35).

      Having been rested in midweek against Zagreb, Alex Sandro will be raring to go again for the Derby Della Mole – a fixture in which he already has fond memories, sliding that all-important pass for Juan Cuadrado to clinch victory back in October last year.

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